James A. Rawley Award

Recognizing the best book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States.



The James A. Rawley Prize is given annually by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States. The prize is given in memory of Professor James A. Rawley, Carl Adolph Happold Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


Each entry must be published during the period January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024.

Submission Process

One copy of each entry, clearly labeled “2025 James A. Rawley Prize Entry,” must be mailed directly to the committee members listed below. Each committee member must receive all submissions postmarked by October 1, 2024.

Bound page proofs may be used for books to be published after October 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025. If a bound page proof is submitted, a bound copy of the book must be mailed directly to the committee members listed below postmarked no later than January 7, 2025.

If a book carries a copyright date that is different from the publication date, but the actual publication date falls during the correct timeframe making it eligible, please include a letter of explanation from the publisher with each copy of the book sent to the committee members.

Please contact the chair and provide title(s) you will submit for consideration so the committee can verify that all books have been received:

Samantha Seeley, Chair
Margaret Newell
Anthony Mora

Addresses to come.

Past Winners


Michael Witgen, Columbia University, Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and University of North Carolina Press) 

Honorable Mention: Moon-Ho Jung, University of Washington, Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State (University of California Press)

Honorable Mention: Danielle R. Olden, University of Utah, Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (University of California Press)


Destin Jenkins, Stanford University, The Bonds of Inequality: Debt and the Making of the American City (University of Chicago Press)

Honorable Mention: Samantha Seeley, University of Richmond, Race, Removal, and the Right to Remain: Migration and the Making of the United States (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press)


Vincent Brown, Harvard University, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)


Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Princeton University, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership (The University of North Carolina Press)


Jeffrey C. Stewart, University of California, Santa Barbara, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (Oxford University Press)


Kelly Lytle Hernández, University of California, Los Angeles, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965 (University of North Carolina Press)

Tiya Miles, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (The New Press)


Robert G. Parkinson, Binghamton University, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press


Margaret Ellen Newell, Ohio State University, Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery(Cornell University Press)


Daniel Berger, University of Washington, Bothell, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (The University of North Carolina Press)


Brenda E. Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots (Oxford University Press)


Laura Briggs, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption(Duke University Press)


Cindy Hahamovitch, College of William & Mary, No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor (Princeton University Press)


Daniel Martinez HoSang, University of Oregon, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (University of California Press)


Julie Greene, University of Maryland, College Park, The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal (The Penguin Press)


Vincent Brown, Harvard University, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard University Press)


Susan Eva O’Donovan, Harvard University, Becoming Free in the Cotton South (Harvard University Press)


Paul A. Kramer, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Phillippines(The University of North Carolina Press)


James Edward Smethurst, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s (University of North Carolina Press)


Robert O. Self, Brown University, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton University Press)


Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision(University of North Carolina Press)


Sharla M. Fett, Occidental College, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations (University of North Carolina Press)

Shane White, University of Sydney, Stories of Freedom in Black New York (Harvard University Press)


J. William Harris, University of New Hampshire, Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation(Johns Hopkins University Press)

David W. Blight, Amherst College, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press)


Sherry L. Smith, Southern Methodist University, Reimagining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes 1880–1940 (Oxford University Press)


Timothy B. Tyson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (University of North Carolina Press)


Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations (University of California Press)


Daryl Michael Scott, Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880–1996 (University of North Carolina Press)


Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896–1920 (The University of North Carolina Press)


Peter W. Bardaglio, Reconstructing the Household: Families, Sex, and the Law in the Nineteenth Century South (The University of North Carolina Press)


Nancy MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (Oxford University Press)


Michael K. Honey, Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (University of Illinois Press)


Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (Oxford University Press)


Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 (Cambridge University Press)

Ramón A. Gutiérrez, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500–1846(Stanford University Press)


Douglas Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California (University of California Press)


Kenneth L. Karst, Belonging to America: Equal Citizenship and the Constitution (Yale University Press)